Sleep Is All In Your Head

It's fairly common for athletes to have a hard time sleeping right before an important competition, especially when dieting. This phenomenon is even more pronounced when traveling across times zones. Scientists from several universities wanted to know how sleep depravation affects training, so they compared the efforts of a group of collegiate weightlifters after a normal night's sleep and 24 hours of no sleep at all. Although athletes reported fatigue, moodiness and lack of focus for the sleep-deprived session, there was no significant decrease in performance.

The Bigger Picture: This study is interesting in that experienced weightlifters were able to stick with their normal volume of training even under less-than-ideal conditions. It would have been more interesting to conduct this study during a simulated competition. In any event, the fact remains that lack of sleep is detrimental to recovery. If you don't allow enough time and rest for adequate recovery, you won't be realizing great gains for all that effort.
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